Posts Tagged ‘Switzerland’
Prime International Residential Index – Square meters US$1m will buy
- Monaco 15
- Hong Kong 21
- London 25
- Singapore 33
- Geneva 35
- New York 40
- Sydney 41
- Paris 42
- Moscow 43
- Shanghai 46
Source: Knight Frank
GMS likes to tell us online the ways in which HK is a better place than S’pore. It’s gd to get the perspective of someone who jets between HK and S’ore and who is raising a family there while working there.
But he never tells us this
We are not among these cities ’cause of our “affordable” public housing that is causing debt problems for younger S’poreans. It’s so affordable that GMS sold his flat to help fund his bid for a S$15,000 monthly salary. He knew he could get a second bite at the cherry if he needed to?
Whatever it is, we do know that GMS has the money to raise a family in a city where housing is very “unafforable”. He FT in HK?
S’pore’s govt is forever trying to copy the successes of other places. Examples
— Israel’ and Silicon Valley’s tech prowess (forgot about Estonia meh?);
— Germany’s SMEs’ structure;
— China’s internet, social media censorship practices (thank god we got Yaacob, a Malay, doing it, not the People’s Voice, TKL who wants S’pore to adopt the Chinese practice of all bloggers and posters registering their identities with the govt before they can comment);
— Scottish biotech prowess (the imported Scots went home);
— American social conservatives’ values on family (though not on abortion).
The has been adding to global warming (all that hot air, and methane from BS) and a waste of effort, money.
The govt should heed the words of a reader of the Economist (required reading of cabinet, civil service but apparently not Jason Chua and the other morons of that pro-PAP FB page, “Fabrications about the PAP”):
“What politicians and policymakers are looking for is a panacea. Imitating Germany will not work. There have been many attempts to imitate Silicon Valley, but no one has succeeded. It is impossible to copy the culture, thinking and collective experience found in a company or a country.”—on “German lessons”, July 12th 2014.
I could add that stopping aping might even help the PAP . I mean we like Israel got NS and high tech weaponry. But why we no got Iseal expertise in civilian high tech meh?. Btw, why NS and the welfare state go hand in hand.
The PAP should walk the talk of what DPM Teo said on 21 July
Singapore has to strengthen its track record of trust, knowledge, connectivity, and livability to attract global companies to set up shop in the country, but must also position itself where it can add most value, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.
“To achieve sustainable growth, Singapore cannot simply continue to do more of the same, or to put in more resources in a linear fashion,” said Mr Teo, who was speaking at an annual scholarship award ceremony for the Economic Development Board (EDB) on Monday (July 21). (CNA)
The govt should remember that the world class port and the airport and the financial centre were developed without aping any other place. As was SIA, and Keppel Corp’s rig-building businesses. The starting point was the expertise already here, expertise that juz needed nurturing. And Dr Goh aped no-one when he developed Jurong and let the MBCs in.
A few weeks ago the BBC published
Swiss monthly living costs
- One-bed city centre flat: 1,800 francs S$2520
- Utilities: 100-200 francs S$140- 280
- Health insurance: 300-400 francs S$420- 560
- Public transport: 50-70 francs S$70- 98
- Restaurant meal for two: 100-150 francs S$140- 210
As you can see I’ve put the S$ equivalent beside the Swiss amounts.
Now you have an idea of the Swiss cost of living. As to their wages, the median wage there is the equivalent of S$8574 a momth. Ours is S$4358 or S$2789 after deducting CPF.
In a new index on financial secrecy, S’pore is only ranked sixth. The Financial Secrecy Index 2011, puts Switzerland on top, followed by the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and the USA.
The Tax Justice Network, the group behind the report, says, “[A] secrecy jurisdiction provides facilities that enable people or entities escape or undermine the laws, rules and regulations of other jurisdictions elsewhere, using secrecy as a prime tool.”
The government’s policy is to encourage the growth of wealth management here so that S’pore can be the Switzerland of the East. Well, the central bank and the Attorney-General’s Chambers have a lot of work to do to make S’pore a better secrecy jurisdiction. Hong Kong is a better secrecy juridiction than S’pore. And S’pore and Hong Kong are rivals in the race to be the leading wealth management centre in East Asia.
At least, this report shows S’pore is a better global citizen than Switzerland, Hong Kong and the USA. But where’s the money in being a responsible, decent chap?
Robert Schiller (the man who called the dotcom bust and the recent US housing crisis spot on) argues in the US context that homeownership is not as beneficial to a country as it many thinks it is — the American belief that homeownership encourages pride and good citizenship and, ultimately, preservation of liberty. These attitudes are enduring.
He cites Switzerland: Switzerland, for example, is a country with strong patriotism, a fighting spirit of national defense, a commitment to freedom and tolerance, and a low crime rate. Yet its homeownership rate is just 34.6 percent, versus 66.2 percent for the United States, according to the two countries’ 2000 censuses.
Time for the government to rethink its homeownership policy?
Swiss national identity doesn’t depend on homeownership. Instead, Riccarda Torriani, a historian at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, links the country’s sense of identity to such things as its system of direct democracy, which enforces popular participation in government; the idea that its citizens are frontier people (living in or near the rugged Alps); and a history of collective courage in defense of freedom, even when outnumbered.
Update on 27th March 2010
Been asked what has this post to be with value investing or being cynical.
Answer: Question periodically the underlying assumptions of any piece of “conventional wisdom”. Juz because a genius like MM thinks that something is correct,doesn’t mean that the underlying circumstances may have changed since he made the initial decision. Take the “Stop at two policy”. Circumstances changed, and the policy shld have reversed earlier.
Great time for UBS’s survival to be questioned, when bonds held by GIC must be converted into UBS shares by 5 March, 2010.
[Reminder: In December 2007, GIC invested 11 billion Swiss Francs for these bonds that would give it 9% of UBS. It later had to invest an undisclosed amount to prevent a dilution of its stake when UBS called for a rights issue to cover mounting losses. Later the Swiss government had to take a 9% stake to cover yet more losses.]
Last August, it was feared that UBS would not survive if it were indicted in the United States for failing to provide details of tax evasion by US citizens (Note the concern abt UBS not surviving the indictment was not reported here: both in MSM amd bloggers). Its failure could have undermined Switzerland’s economy. And of course Singapore’s reserves.
Now: “The Swiss government on Wednesday backed off an agreement with the United States that required it to hand over the names of wealthy American clients of the Swiss bank UBS who were suspected of tax evasion.
‘The announcement, which came after two Swiss courts ruled that the disclosure of client names would be illegal because it would violate the country’s secrecy laws, threatened to open a new front in the investigation into UBS by the Justice Department.
‘While the Swiss cabinet … would continue talks with the United States on the matter … there was a risk that the United States would resume civil proceedings filed against UBS in a Florida court last year. That case sought to force UBS to disclose the names of 52,000 wealthy American clients suspected of tax evasion through UBS’s private bank.
‘That lawsuit was suspended in August when the Swiss government, acting on behalf of UBS during months of intense negotiations, promised to hand over 4,450 UBS client names.” Full article
So if no new settlement is reached, UBS can be indicted again. And the issue of whether it can survive will again be asked.
This is one jinked investment. Time for MM (GIC’s chairman) or Tony Tan (executive director) to go an visit some holy man to ask for the bad luck to go away?